She Dies Tomorrow

“I hate exposition,” creator/director/actress Amy Seimetz talked about in a 2013 interview with Filmmaker Journal. This hatred is on present in her first full attribute, “Photo voltaic Don’t Shine,” the place a nightmarish state of affairs is obtainable with an practically blasé deadpan tone. “Photo voltaic Don’t Shine” thrusts us into the world of the two elementary characters, and we now should piece it collectively as we go. Seimetz’s latest attribute, “She Dies Tomorrow,” moreover rejects exposition. Fragments are pieced collectively, interrupted by seemingly random insert pictures of the photo voltaic setting, a molten ball of sunshine, or microscopic cells swimming in a primordial sea. “She Dies Tomorrow” strikes a really haunting chord. By withholding exposition, Seimetz permits the premise to resonate in disturbing strategies. That features a murderer’s row of experience—Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, Jane Adams, Chris Messina, Tunde Adebimpe, Jennifer Kim—”She Dies Tomorrow” has the feel of a horror film, and is often scary, however it is truly an existential meditation on mortality.

The film begins with an extreme closeup of Kate Lyn Sheil’s ice-blue eyes, surrounded by smudged mascara, eyelashes moist collectively along with her tears, eyelashes caught collectively, her eyes staring unblinkingly into … one factor hypnotic and scary. The floor world would not exist. This opening image orients the viewer into the film’s modus operandi. Buckle your seatbelts. Sheil performs Amy, possibly a clue to the film’s non-public origins. Amy wanders through her residence like a somnambulist, consuming profusely, pressing her physique into the floorboards, the Mondo Boys’ cowl of Mozart’s “Lacrimosa” on repeat on the turntable. Irrespective of is going on collectively along with her, she is deep into it on the film’s opening. Colored lights magically emanate from one among many empty rooms, and Sheil glides within the route of them, her face suffused with gentle as she stares straight into the digicam, at what we don’t know.

Totally different characters emerge. There’s Jane (Jane Adams), irritated from coping along with her good good friend Amy’s relapses. This time, though, Amy is nearly in a fugue state. crawling through the grime outdoor her residence in a glittery gown, researching urns on the Net, and whether or not or not or not native leather-based retailers would make a jacket out of her pores and pores and skin when she’s gone. She informs Jane matter-of-factly “I’ll die tomorrow” and Jane is, understandably, alarmed at this seemingly suicidal assertion. Nevertheless later, home alone, Jane is so overwhelmed by dread for no apparent trigger she flees the house in her pajamas, and crashes a birthday celebration hosted by her brother Jason (Chris Messina). Amy’s consciousness of imminent lack of life is handed on to Jane. Jane, in flip, passes it on to Jason, his partner Susan (Katie Aselton), and their two guests (Tunde Adebimpe and Jennifer Kim).

Fear is present in every seen different Seimetz makes: the digicam placements are alarming, with sudden shifts of perspective. The digicam strikes to floor diploma or peeks through {{a partially}} closed door. The mannequin is experimental however coherent. “She Dies Tomorrow” jumps forwards and backwards in time with no warning, skips from night time time to day and once more, and although usually this methodology is unnecessarily distracting and self-conscious, it gives to the feeling of disintegration, the whole thing breaking down: norms, linear time, relationships.

The mood—with its unnameable sense of doom—is rather like Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia.” In that film, the rogue planet approaching the earth impacts each character in any other case: some are prepared, others collapse. The lady you suppose may crumble is certainly the strongest, and vice versa. This performs out in “She Dies Tomorrow” too. Watch how each character seems to be like into their very personal non-public colored strobe. All people sees one factor fully totally different: it makes them grieve, or tremble, or say what they need to say immediately. Most of all, “She Dies Tomorrow” evokes the creepy means fear spreads, the easiest way contagion works on the subterranean diploma, similar to those swimming microbes seen through Jane’s microscope.

The performing is nice nevertheless I’m going to drag out Sheil for specific reward. I’ve admired her work for years. I first noticed her in Sophia Takal’s “Inexperienced” and was riveted by what she dropped on the desk, her confidence, ease, and depth. She works regularly, from “Photo voltaic Don’t Shine,” Alex Ross Perry’s “Hear Up Philip” and “Queen of Earth,” the little-known terrific “The Coronary coronary heart Machine,” and Robert Greene’s “Kate Performs Christine.” She goes deeper than most actresses go, often into inexplicable wordless states (as in “Inexperienced,” as in “She Dies Tomorrow”). When she gazes into the colored strobe in her residence, Sheil reveals how she is going to be capable to embrace the thriller of a second with the whole thing in her. Her face is lit up with transcendence and completely mad, concurrently.

Unanswerable questions haunt “She Dies Tomorrow,” questions most people don’t want to take a look at. In the event you occur to knew you may die tomorrow, what actions would you choose to take? What unfinished enterprise would you deal with sooner than the bell tolls? Points have a method of clarifying throughout the face of imminent lack of life. In “She Dies Tomorrow,” there is no collective experience. Of us do not huddle collectively for comfort. Contagion brings isolation (this has eerie resonance with what the world goes through correct now). When you face lack of life, you face it alone. In Hamlet’s “to be or to not be” soliloquy, he faces this truth head on:

Nevertheless that the dread of 1 factor after lack of life,
The undiscovered nation from whose bourn
No traveler returns …

“She Dies Tomorrow” stares into the “undiscovered nation” of dizzying colored strobe lights and makes you shock what’s available on the market, what comes subsequent, why are all of us so alone?

Now having fun with in drive-in theaters, and on the market on digital platforms on August 7.